The Death of Email: Is Email Marketing Worthwhile?

With the advent of social media marketing, many brands are overlooking the OG digital marketing strategy - email marketing.  But email marketing is far from dead.  In fact Researchers have found that 89% of Americans check email every day. 

Checking email regularly for many is viewed a fact of everyday life.

It's a habit that's ingrained into most people's daily routines, and smartphones and tablets have made it even easier to take a quick look at your inbox on the regular.  Despite the increasing popularity of social media, email marketing remains a great way to reach a target audience of people who are interested in your business.  Just like we walk out to the mailbox on the regular, we all make sure to log into our emails and make sure there's nothing important in there. 

Many consumers have a love/hate relationship with email marketing.

While consumers enjoy certain benefits of marketing emails - coupons, anyone? - They also will easily become frustrated with certain aspects of email marketing, so businesses must find the right balance of email timing and content for their consumer base. 

Convincing someone to sign up for email is valuable.

Just like a Facebook or Instagram follow, email marketing gains you valuable future access - and in the case of emails, you're dropping into their Inbox, rather than an algorithm-generated newsfeed.   Because of that, while customers may be more hesitant to give up their email than to hit the "follow button," the level of customer engagement is considerably higher. 

The numbers don't lie: 

Source: Mailchimp/RivalIQ

Even email's click through rate trumps Facebook's engagement rate, falling at 2.43% - so it's clear that email has some ROI value. 

Email Marketing success varies by industry. 

All industries are not created equal when it comes to email marketing, according to research by email marketing service Mailchimp.  For example, ecommerce open rates are as much as 10% lower than email lists focused on hobbies, sports, or non-profits.   Check out the full list on their website to see where your business type falls.

What does this tell us about what consumers like in their inboxes?  While they may sign up for your email list for a discount, they will likely enjoy emails from you that relate to their hobbies and interests as well. 

Innovate, Check the Numbers, and Innovate Again

One of the key successes of digital marketing is the ability to fully geek out on the numbers, and email marketing services don't fall short here.  You'll get realtime feedback on which emails are a flop and which your customers loved, and you'll be able to adjust your strategy to optimize your results. 

Six emails you should have in your bag of tricks:

1. Welcome Email
Make sure your email software automatically welcomes new subscribers into the fold.  These emails typically have a high open rate, and offering a coupon to new subscribers can take advantage of that.  Think carefully about the design of your email and what you want it to say about your brand, as this is the email that will likely determine whether new subscribers engage often or hit unsubscribe.

2. Storytelling Email
Sharing compelling personal stories about your brand, or stories about your customers and their successes with your brand can increase consumer confidence and give people a more positive overall perception of your brand.  Sprinkling in emails that aren't directly "salesy" every now and then can also build loyalty by assuring them that you're not just in it to sell them stuff. 

3. Coupons

Let's be honest, most people initially join email lists looking for coupons, deals, and discounts.  Unfortunately, it's a fine balance with these types of emails, because the same people who joined for a coupon may be turned off by an overly sales-focused approach.  You can mitigate this by keeping the coupons personalized with good segmentation, keeping your subject lines fun and eye-catching, and limiting the number of coupons you send out. 


4. Re-Engagement Email
This email is typically segmented to focus on people who haven't been engaged with your campaigns recently, and typically have a good engagement rate considering that.  The subject line should be enticing, letting them know that you miss them, or what's new since they've been gone - and you can add an offer into the email text to sweeten the pot. 

5. Instructions or Tutorials
Nearly every business managing an email list can benefit from sending customers information like this - from a realtor walking readers through the process of searching for a new home to a sporting goods company giving tips on maintaining sports gear.  Providing your customers with information adds value to the email list, and shows your customers you care at them.  Although these will not be the highest converting emails, they can often drive traffic by providing additional information upon click. 

6. Requests for feedback
From automated emails that ask customers to review their purchases, to surveys - occasionally requesting customer feedback can be key to engaging customers and assuring them that you care about what they think.  Additionally, these emails can provide you with great content to use for marketing later.  Product reviews on websites can significantly impact conversions, and you may find a great quote that you want to share with everyone! 

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